Wednesday, May 09, 2007


09.05.2007 - Yerevan. On May 5, 2007, the office of Civil Disobedience Movement, as well as the apartments of one of its leaders - former Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Arzumanyan- and former Deputy Minister of Defense Vahan Shirkhanyan were searched. They have been accused of money laundering. Arrested on May 7 midnight, Alexander Arzumanyan is currently placed in a jail cell in the building of National Security Service (NSS).

Yet again during a period of civic and political activism the Armenian authorities are attempting to intimidate and silence political dissidence through applying KGB methods such as wiretapping and arbitrary arrests accompanied by demonstration of force.

The groundless harsh sentencing of the editor of Zhamanak Yerevan newspaper Arman Babajanyan and the arbitrary detention of Zhirair Sefilyan and Vardan Malkhasyan are manifestations of the logical continuation of the political developments in Armenia in the recent years.

Alexander Arzumanyan, the motives of whose arrest are obvious, and these other detainees have been subjected to criminal prosecution for their civic and political activities and ideas.

Concerned about continuation of political repressions in Armenia, the undersigned consider these four people to be political prisoners and announce the establishment of a group to protect political prisoners.

The group will work to protect the rights of Alexander Arzumanyan, Zhirair Sefilyan, Vardan Malkhasyan and Arman Babajanyan, to eliminate the causes and consequences of any and all political dissidence.

“Group to Protect the Four”

Avetik Ishkhanyan
Gayane Markosyan
Amalia Kostanyan
Vardan Harutiunyan
Arthur Sakunts
Edik Baghdasaryan

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